Grocery group The Kroger Company has authorised the repurchase of US$500 million of Kroger common stock.

The timing of the repurchases will vary according to market conditions. This repurchase programme replaces the $500m stock buyback announced in September 2004, which had approximately $7.5m remaining at close of business Thursday (4 May).

The company reiterated its commitment to Kroger's long-term financial strategy of using payment of a cash dividend.one-third of free cash flow for debt reduction and two-thirds for share repurchase and the "The new share repurchase programme reflects our confidence in the company's strategic plan and our belief that Kroger shares represent an attractive investment opportunity," said David B. Dillon, Kroger chairman and chief executive officer.